Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Friday announced the launch of the city's largest public space recycling initiative to date. The pilot program includes 30 new BigBelly solar-powered waste and recycling stations, which will be installed along Seventh Avenue and Broadway between 42nd and 47th Streets in Times Square.
The program debuted in partnership with the Times Square Alliance and BigBelly Solar and Alcoa Foundation and is part of the mayor's commitment to double the city’s recycling rate to 30 percent by 2017.
Times Square generates approximately 15,300 pounds or 900 bags of garbage a day – more than any other New York City neighborhood. The 30 stations will replace 53 trash bins and can be monitored remotely to enable staff to only send out collection personnel when they are full.
Bloomberg said the point of the program is to make recycling easier and also encourage the more than 500,000 dialy visitors to Times Square to recycle.
“Making recycling easier for New Yorkers will build on our work to make our entire system of solid waste management less polluting, more energy-efficient, and more sustainable, both economically and environmentally,” Bloomberg said.
The Big Belly units have three sections for cans & bottles, garbage and paper. The high-tech stations hold five times the capacity of traditional sidewalk trash receptacles, use solar energy to compact trash, require fewer pickups and are expected to cut greenhouse emissions by 80 percent
“Recycling is practical and it is adaptable,” said Department of Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty. “The goal of this program is to prove that on-the-street recycling works and can be transferred to other communities around the world.”
The plan calls for additional solar stations to be installed throughout Times Square, and by year’s end, the City will have put 1,000 new recycling containers on streets in all five boroughs.